Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed takes the oath of office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, October 4 2021. Picture: REUTERS/TIKSA NEGERI
Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed takes the oath of office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, October 4 2021. Picture: REUTERS/TIKSA NEGERI

Nairobi — Ethiopia's national army launched a ground offensive against forces from the war-torn northern region of Tigray on Monday, the region’s ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), said.

TPLF spokesperson Getachew Reda said that the army, alongside forces from the northern Amhara region, had launched the offensive on Monday morning.

Reuters could not independently verify his statement. The new offensive has shattered a ceasefire that Ethiopia’s government declared in June, reports said.

“On the morning of October 11, the Ethiopian military with the support of Amhara special forces launched co-ordinated offensives on all fronts,” the office Reda heads said in a statement.

Reda said there was fighting in Amhara region’s Wegeltena, Wurgessa and Haro towns, and that the forces were using heavy artillery, fighter jets, drones, tanks and rockets to attack.

There was no immediate comment from Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s spokesperson, or from military spokespeople on the matter. Asked for comment, the Amhara regional government referred Reuters to the federal government.

Last week, Reda had said air strikes against the Tigrayan forces in Amhara had increased in what he described as the lead-up to a ground offensive by the Ethiopian military and its allies.

The fighting since November 2020 has displaced millions of people and forced hundreds of thousands of Tigrayans into famine — a situation the UN has blamed on a government blockade. The government denies it is blocking aid.

Tigrayan forces retook most of the Tigray region at the end of June, and then pushed into the neighbouring regions of Afar and Amhara, forcing hundreds of thousands of people there to flee their homes. About 5.2-million people in Tigray and another 1.7 -million people in Afar and Amhara are dependent on food aid.

Reuters 

subscribe

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments?
Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.